Softball tournament one of many events helping sports tourism in Richmond region during pandemic

Local Sports

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The International Senior Softball Association (ISSA) World Championships is familiar with the Richmond area, having held their annual tournament in the region before.

This year the ISSA World Championships is being held in the City of Richmond along with surrounding counties Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico.

“It’s been really an honor for us to work with the senior population in the country that want to continue to stay active and ageless,” said ISSA Executive Director RB Thomas. The ISSA works with adults who are in their forties to those in their eighties.

“As soon as we finally got the guidelines from the state on what we could and couldn’t do, we ramped it up to warp speed to make sure we were ready to go,” said Henrico County Recreation and Parks Sports Tourism Coordinator Michael McCormack.

The group’s visit to the area is always welcome. And in 2020, it means a whole lot more because many events were canceled when the coronavirus pandemic began.

According to Richmond Region Tourism, more than 30 sports tourism events scheduled through Labor Day are projected to bring $21 million to the area for the year. In 2019, 89 sports events were held that produced $62.5 million in direct visitor spending.

“Thirty-nine sports tourism events have been lost in the Richmond region due to COVID-19,” said J.C. Poma, Director of Sports Relations for Richmond Region Tourism.

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